- Age: Mid-20s
- Species: Human
- Weapons: A strong alar, the courage of her convictions
- Special Attack: Sympathy: the ability to hold a belief so strongly that it affects reality
- Has a strong aptitude for both Alchemy and Sympathy
- Has a vast reservoir of arcane magical knowledge
- Is clever, business-like, and talented
- Her fondness for Kvothe
- Physical combat is not her strong suit
- Age: Late 20s
- Species: Human
- Weapons: Revolver, myriad magical weapons
- Special Attack: Thaumaturgy
- A thorough magical inventory (rings, amulets, staff, coat, etc)
- Substantial magical brute strength
- Any number of firearms
- His magic has a tendency to interfere with technology
- His magic isn't especially refined
By Liana Brooks
The Nevernever is no place to spend a weekend. Magic stopped working properly. The charms on my duster were wearing away. Every step seemed a little harder, every breath seemed to bring in a little less oxygen.
What a way to go, soul stripped away by the winds of the Nevernever.
My foot collided with something in the mist. “Ignus.”
A ball of flame appeared above me, hanging well out of the reach of children, pets, and tiny demons. What it illuminated was, or at least had been, human at some point. Probably.
The dead man had a prominent nose, a denim jacket, and face frozen in a rictus of horror and pain.
“That’s not good.” I poked the corpse, hoping nothing nasty burst from it. I’d seen Alien one too many times to trust sudden corpses.
Come to think of it, I’d seen too many corpses to trust sudden corpses. As a general rule, finding a still-cooling corpse meant something that made corpses was still lurking nearby. Never a pleasant thing to think about.
Maggots didn’t spill from the corpse, and most of his bits looked intact, he just looked twisted. And wet. Let he’d been caught in a small and highly targeted hurricane.
That’s not the sort of thing you want to see after a long day when your magic is running low.
“Hell’s bells.” I looked around at the encroaching gloom and saw nothing. Wisps of darkness against a vast blank grayness. Stumbling around the Nevernever was never going to get me anywhere (these are the jokes – laugh).
There was only one thing left to do.
Using a wizard’s Sight is not my favorite thing to do. There are no secrets from the Third Eye, no way to avoid seeing the true nature of a person or place. Now, I opened my eyes and the barren wasteland of the Nevernever became a maze of dripping, hideous spells. Brilliant red and deep purple bands of power lay around me, traps set for the unwary. In the distance a golden inferno raged, a cyclone of power and rage.
I looked down at the dead guy. “I guess that’s what you went up against?”
He was the strong silent type.
“Oh. Goodie.” Well, I wasn’t here for a vacation. Maybe the way out was through this mess. Rolling my neck so it cracked, I pulled on what was left of my resources. The duster could take a few more punches, I had my staff, my pentacle, my shield bracelet was ready to go, and the energy-collecting rings were well-filled after my ongoing hike.
Unless the entity in the middle of the magic storm was an actual deity, I had a chance.
I approached the storm head on. Even without Sight I could soon feel the power knocking at me. Not malignant. Not yet. But there was a rage and fury in the storm that made me wary. Even a good person can make a bad enemy if they’re angry enough.
Finally, I saw someone standing in front of me. A woman, about Murphy’s size, with red hair and a tattered crimson cloak she kept wrapped tightly around her. If I hadn’t seen the magic storm, and the corpse, I might have thought she was a victim.
Maybe she was.
“Hello? Um…” Come on, Harry. Why can you never talk to ladies? I should have brought Bob. “Hello? Miss?”
She turned. Her piercing blue eyes were filled with a cold fury.
My first thought was Winter Court, but she didn’t have their smell. I nodded. “Good afternoon, or whatever it is. How are you?”
She lifted her chin. “Are you going to try and kill me too?”
“Only if you try to kill me,” I said honestly. Hurting people takes a toll on the psyche and I was damaged enough.
“The other man built a fire. Offered me a drink. Sang a song.”
I glanced back at the corpse. “Was he that out of tune?”
“He tried to poison me.”
“Ah. Fair enough. Clearly a case of self-defense. Probably.” I didn’t want to use Sight again, so I went with a more civilized option. “This may sound like an odd question, but… are you human?”
The rage in the storm dropped a degree as she tilted her head. “Yes. Are there other options?”
“Oh.” I chuckled. “So many other options. Especially here.”
“Are you human?”
“Yes. A wizard. The only one in Chicago’s phone book, actually.”
She shook her head. “What is a Chicago?”
“A city where I live.”
The woman smiled, flashing a pair of cute dimples. “Are all the people there like you…?” She let the question hang.
“Harry. Harry Dresden.”
“Some people call me Devi.” She smirked. “Others use less kind names.” She let go of her cloak and stepped toward me. Confident.
I like confidant women, but there was something just a little too terrifying about this one’s smile.
“Tell me, Dresden, do you ever feel like things are out of your control? Like there is a higher power swaying you, changing your fate, moving the world around you?”
“Oh, yeah. I’ve met a few of His people before.”
“Mmm.” Devi shook her head. “I don’t mean some good god, Dresden. I mean something far more feral. I’ve died. Twice. Once eaten by a great worm. Once poisoned by a malevolent man. Yet here I stand. In the nothingness. Stripped bare, so all that I have is my alar, and my will to survive.”
I took a cautious step back, nodding. “Sounds a bit like my day. A man with silver skin. A girl with dragons. The Nevernever takes all the nasty kinds.”
Devi nodded. “And now, here we are. Strangers stranded in the sand. I feel our fates are out of our hands, Dresden.” Her words had ice in them. “Do you think the feral fates will save you now?”
“Uh…” Shields up, Mr. Chekov! When was I going to learn? A pretty face, a sad story; where had I seen this before? Oh. Right. In my diary. “I hate to rain on your parade, lady. But I’m not on billable hours. How about you go your way and I go mine?”
“No, Dresden. I am tired of running and tired of playing. Now you learn why some people call me Demon…” From the folds of her clock she pulled a small doll, the kind used for voodoo and sympathetic magic.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I’m too old to play with dolls. Vento giostrus!” I’d found Devi in a cyclone and I was sending her back to Oz in a tornado. It seemed like the right thing to do.